It’s 4pm on the clock and I have just finished baking a cheesecake for a birthday dinner at 7pm with friends.
One clumsy mistake, and just like in the movies, I’m watching the cheesecake fly off the tray and fall into pieces all over the floor and the furniture.
A split second of horror, followed by some speedy problem-solving – we only have a few hours left till guests start arriving. Going to the nearest supermarket requires dressing up, walking down the stairs and to the store, collecting all the necessary ingredients, standing in the queue for check-out, walking back home, climbing back up the stairs to the top floor of a Berlin altbau and starting all over again. We didn’t have 45-60 minutes to do the shopping.
“We are not business people building a delivery company, we are delivery people building a business. ”
Prior to this incident a new company had just joined the Factory Berlin community. The startup, Gorillas, an on-demand grocery delivery service, just moved into our Mitte campus 48 hours before my cheesecake disaster.
I had the pleasure to meet one of the co-founders over coffee, who asked whether I have tried ordering through their app yet. And now as I sit in shock in the kitchen, the ‘light bulb moment’ kicks in. This is the only solution that might save the sweetest part of our evening.
It takes 5 minutes [yes, you read this right] from the moment I click ‘order’ till a very friendly delivery guy appears at the doorstep and hands me the paper bag with my purchases.
“What… !? How did you…”
“We are Gorillas ;)” he smiles. Needless to say, I am experiencing ‘love at first click’. This new app entered my life and is here to stay.
“It all began with a simple belief: if we can go to the moon, we shouldn’t have to queue for our groceries in the supermarket and bulk buy. Let’s give people what they want when they want it. Give them access to their primitive needs in a simpler way.”
Founded in June 2020, within a few months Gorillas has taken major German cities by storm, and is rapidly conquering Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and very soon landing in London with many UK cities on their list as well as new markets soon to be live.
With a USP of grocery delivery in average of just 10 minutes and no minimum order, the Berlin-based startup combines 4 ingredients that create a magical experience: authentic people, bold decisions, constantly owning change and always riding.
“We want to create a world where people can have immediate access to their essential needs which will empower people to live mindfully and respectfully.”
We’re taught to plan our consumption the week ahead, and overstock our fridges and shelves to make sure we don’t run out of food. To challenge this behavioral pattern, Gorillas targets three groups: the ‘cheesecake emergency’ shopper, the ‘spontaneous cravings shopper, and the ‘I end up over-buying when I only get groceries once a week’ shopper.
As we take a walk to one of the warehouses, Kağan explains to me that changing the way riding is perceived is one of the main missions of the company. A rider at heart who travelled the world for 6 months on a bike, knows first hand the importance of comfort and good equipment.“Our riders are an integral part of the business who deserve a significant level of equipment. They are not serving or taking packages from point A to point B, they are sharing something. We want our crew members to be super stylish, have the fastest bikes, make them feel powerful and proud to be part of the team.”
The warehouse is filled with an air of excitement, motivation and a great mood. It feels like team sports, where each employee is responsible for the success of the company. Working like a clock, the orders are being packed and dispatched in a timely manner. “We don’t have robotics, but we have super high-level tech in the warehouse. The second you place your order, we have algorithms that help us optimize the whole experience.”
Founder Kağan Sümer knows how it feels to ride and to be tired. After all, for the first few months the founding team was always on the ground, covering shifts together with the rest of the team. “We are not business people building a delivery company, we are delivery people building a business.“
My initial concern was the fresh produce: How can I order fruits and vegetables if I am not able to see them first and make sure I select the best?
With a strict selection process of products and right storing conditions at the warehouse, my worries instantly disappear. “We won’t put out something that we wouldn’t enjoy eating ourselves. With such close proximity to our customer, in case of a slight dissatisfaction we are able to replace it immediately. We don’t finish the delivery process when we give you the bag, our delivery process finishes once you’re happy.”
One of the most exciting companies on the scene, the rapidly growing startup Gorillas taps into our deeply rooted consumer traditions and reminds us how precious time is. Don’t waste half of your day in a supermarket – all the ingredients you need are just a click away.